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WELCOME TO THE 2021-2022 SCHOOL YEAR

August 9, 2021
Dear Simi Valley Schools Community:

Welcome to the 2021-2022 school year! We hope that this message finds you and your family healthy.

Wednesday, August 11, is the first day of school for Simi Valley Schools. This year we are excited to finally have our schools fully open and operating with normal schedules, albeit with some guidelines in place for the continuing pandemic concerns. I want to sincerely thank our families for their unending patience as we sort through the ongoing changes and clarifications to the guidelines. I also want to commend our entire staff for their continued professionalism and dedication to our students. They have performed amazing feats during the most challenging conditions, and they have done so with kindness and compassion.

In our last message, we provided a link to the Family Resource Guide (in English and Spanish). This guide provides an overview of what the 2021-2022 school year will look like on our campuses. You can access an updated Family Resource Guide HERE. It is also attached to this email.

As of today, we need to remind you of the following (the points that have an * were changed or clarified on last week by the California Department of Public Health, and may be different from what we were told in July). Please understand that we have to follow state and county guidelines regarding wearing masks and other measures.

  • Masks must be worn indoors by all people — adults and students — regardless of vaccination status. Those who refuse to wear masks indoors will not be allowed inside campus buildings. Parents of students who refuse to mask will be called to pick up their children. Please remember that Monte Vista School, our independent study school, is an option for families concerned about masking. For more information, go to https://www.montevista.simivalleyusd.org.

  • Students will be able to remove their masks when they are outside, for recess or passing periods, and/or while eating. Students are welcome to keep their masks on outdoors as well.

  • Schools will still do some social distancing when possible.*

  • Visitors on campuses are severely limited. *

  • We ask that every family screen their children for possible Covid symptoms (fever over 99.5,

    vomiting, etc...) before bringing them to school each day. We will not have temperature screenings at the gate this year, but a child who is not feeling well will be sent to the office where their temperature will be taken. Please do not send children to school who have any Covid symptoms.

  • If your child stays home because of an illness or a concern about possible Covid infection, our teachers will continue to work with them to get them assignments and classwork.*

  • As of now, all sports and extracurricular activities will be conducted with the same mask guidelines as above. There are no guidelines for testing at this time.*

  • Schools will take measures to create social distancing as much as possible during mealtimes.

As we continue to say, these guidelines can change at any time. We will update our families with any changes as they come in.

Even if we are not completely back to normal in terms of masks and social distancing, we are still very excited to have your children back on our campuses. Our teachers and staff have worked hard to create a welcoming, nurturing and fun learning experience for the year to come. We have many additional resources and staff in place to help with any transition issues and also to help “catch up” those students who may need the additional support. It will be a busy year, but it will be a successful year for all of our students.

With the first days of school come children walking to school and traffic congestion. I urge all of us to please very extremely careful when driving in and around our campuses. There will be many children who have not physically been on our campuses for more than a year and extra caution is required when driving around them. Please remember that the speed limit is 25 miles per hour in school zones when school is in session. The Simi Valley Police Department will have extra patrols on duty to ensure the safety of our students and other drivers. We thank them for their commitment to our safety.

As we have done for the last four years, we want to encourage our families to celebrate their first day of school, regardless grade or age. For those who are willing, we ask that for any pictures of your children that you post to your social media of choice (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), that you

include the hashtag #SimiSchoolsFirstDay2021 on your posts. Also, if you’re willing, make those posts “public” so we can all see and share our amazing children next week. To see other posts, enter #SimiSchoolsFirstDay2021 into the search bar of your social media account to see all of the posts using this hashtag. In this way, we can all enjoy our community’s first day of school through your photos.

Thank you for trusting us with your children. We are proud to partner with an amazing community of families. Collectively we have the ability to make this an incredible experience for all of our students. Our students have proven many times over that they are resilient and able to thrive regardless of the limitations placed in front of them. With your encouragement, they will continue to learn and grow successfully.

At Simi Valley Schools, our students will go from here to anywhere!

Dr. Jason Peplinski
Superintendent
Simi Valley Unified School District